Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Picture is Worth ...

The other day I was leaving to head out for the day, and I turned the corner from the bedroom into the living room and thought this was a prime photo opportunity, my cleverly cropped "real" life.

Someone asked me via email if I could provide them with some Amazon links of things I would buy to recreate my own living room, and I thought - why? For as long as I've been blogging, and even after all of the nice things I've heard, I still find it hard to believe that anyone would want to recreate my look.

After all, I can't even consider this to be truly MY look. This is a mix of things, purchased without any real plan that happened to be pulled together and not look terrible. But, just because I love ya and I didn't have anything better to blog about - here you go, my tips and links for decorating in MY current look, on a budget:

1. Flooring

I highly suggest that you go ahead and spend the money on a good, quality seagrass rug as large as you room can take without going custom. Custom rugs cost a fortune, and the reality is, you can often find sizes that are close enough that have been bound for the mass market. Safavieh has a good quality seagrass, and they offer a few different patterns, including herringbone.

I personally would say away from jute because of the shedding and difficulty in keeping wear patterns from showing, and I would also tell you that from my experience that while no natural rug is "comfortable" to lounge on, you'll find the lease comfort from sisal. So stick with seagrass

You can also layer over natural area rugs with things like cowhides and zebra hides, antique oriental rugs, and cotton flatweave dhurrie

2. Windows

I live in an apartment that requires that the miniblinds they provide to each apartment stay in every window so that there is continuity from the street. BUT, I can't live with white miniblinds y'all. No offense to those of you who have them, they're just not for me. 

So I have covered over all of mine with either bamboo roman shades or matchstick roller shades (because the windows are too long for bamboo roman shades). This helps to elevate the look of the window more than to provide privacy - anyone who knows me knows that I live in a fishbowl

After I've dressed the window with something natural (and P.S., I do this nearly all the time, in ANY room) I will 99.9% of the time opt for a curtain. I like light curtains, nothing heavy or overly dressed. I don't think there's much reason to put a ton of money into trims and notions on your curtains. If you're going to buy custom, just invest in a lead edge fabric that is nicely coordiated to the body, and get them made full enough to really fill the window. I don't think I own any curtains that aren't either doubled up (if they're from a store) or made to double width or at the very least one and half times width. 

If you're going to buy premade - and you can definitely find some amazing premade curtains out there, I will suggest to you HPD on Amazon.You can also go to their website directly, but nearly everything they sell is available on Amazon and you get it faster and cheaper than ordering from them directly. Here are some of my favorites: 

These are sewn to be able to hang a variety of ways, including rod pocket, back tab, and on curtain rings with hooks. 

Lately, I've been really fond of curtain rods with no finial, like the above that just round back into the mounting bracket on the wall. They offer full black out potential, and you don't end up getting tired of seeing whatever you had chosen months ago thinking it was going to be a good choice, but now no longer care for. 

3. Lighting

I like a variety of lighting, floor lamps, table lamps, chandeliers - all on dimmers if you can swing it.

I personally chose brass pharmacy lamps and an antique urn turned gigantic table lamp for my living room, but the above options are super similar and much less expensive. 

4. Furniture

I'm not gonna lie to you guys - I often shop for pieces on sites like EBTH and eBay, and I make really good use of my local options, too! I siphon through Facebook Marketplace like hourly, and while I've not been so good about it lately, I'm on Craigslist quite a bit too. Some of the best things in the apartment I've actually found there, so it's hard to find something similar because frankly, I wouldn't have the first clue on where to look for these things if I ever wanted to replace them. BUT, here are some options for what you see in this picture: 

I've had a few sofas and I have to say that without a doubt, my slipcovered sofas have always brought me the most piece of mind. I loved my tufted silk sofa with the velvet cushion, but it was impractical for my space and the way I live. It photographed beautifully, but was never something that anyone was excited to plop down on. My sofa is by Klaussner, so if you're looking for it, check there. 

My coffee table is antique, very heavy bronze and glass. It's faux bamboo, which is why I linked the faux bamboo option up there. But, I would say that you need to know two things about glass coffee tables: 1. They're gonna need daily cleaning and 2. They are GOING to NEED daily cleaning! So, if you're ok with that - hop to it! 

Oh, and last thing - when I do clean, and it's more often than you'd think ... I am a big big fan of these: 

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